If I had a dollar for every time someone has come to me complaining that their computer is "sooooo slow," I would be a rich man. This complaint always comes from a person who has a Windows-based PC I might add, as opposed to an Apple Macintosh.
The two main reasons a computer gets slow is because it does not have enough RAM, and becuse it is bogged down with malware.You can defragment until you're blue in the face, but it won't help. You have to keep your system clean, and upgrade your RAM.
To put it simply, RAM, or memory, is what allows your computer to do more things at one time. To have multiple programs open, or to play games etc. The operating systemm will use the largest portion of memory and every program you open on top of that, be it a messenger client, word processor, web browser, etc., continues to consume RAM until there is none left. When this happens, your comoputer borrows hard drive space to be used as RAM. This is what will slow things down to a crawl. RAM is fast. Hard drives are slow. Few off-the-shelf computers come with an adequate amount of RAM, so most users will want to add more. RAM is cheap and it is easy to install, but I won't go into that here.
Not sure what kind of RAM your computer uses. Use Crucial.com's memory configurator and either order it through them, or find out what you need and go to a local store.
Malware is malicious software - be it viruses, trojans, spyware, adware, etc. Microsoft has come a long way since the advent of Windows XP with security measures to keep malicious software from infecting Windows-based computers,, but it is still an epidemic. My picks for anti-malware software are listed below. All Windows-based computers must have software installed to guard against infection, and even then there are bugs that will get in. The only ways to guarantee that you won't get infected with malware is to not connect your Windows-based computer to the Internet, or buy an Apple Macintosh.
Why by a Mac?
It's not that Macs can't be infected with malware, it's just that for all practical purposes, there isn't any malware for Macs. Let me rephrase that, there have been like three (yes three, as in 1 + 2 = 3) viruses that can affect the Mac OS X operating system - and even those are debatable. According to Spybot, as of Feb. 06, 2009 there are 287,524 viruses and growing for Microsoft Windows.
So, if you have a slow computer, clean it up, buy more RAM, or make the switch to the Macintosh platform.
AVG Antivirus Free Edition - free anti-virus program for home use.
Spybot Search & Destroy - free program for cleaning and preventing malware infections.
Malwarebytes Antimalware - another free program for cleaning and preventing malware infections.
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